This year’s Operation Seabird launched to protect iconic wildlife along the east coast

This year’s Operation Seabird has been launched with organisations across the coast coming together to raise awareness of Yorkshire’s spectacular wildlife.

By Phil Hutchinson
Monday, 18th April 2022, 3:05 pm
Wildlife along the Yorkshire Coast enthralls many residents and visitors. Photo submitted
Wildlife along the Yorkshire Coast enthralls many residents and visitors. Photo submitted

First launched in August 2020, the Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership (YMNP) the first day (last Thursday) involved visible police patrols along the Yorkshire coast to look out for disturbance and antisocial behaviour.

Officers also offered advice to visitors about how they can minimise their impact on marine wildlife.

Residents and visitors share the coast with thousands of breeding seabirds, resident porpoises and seals, and visiting pods of whales and dolphins.

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A kittiwake and chick nestled on the east coast cliffs.

This wildlife is iconic and enthralling for many people, but it’s important to make sure any activity doesn’t cause stress or panic in the animals.

This could mean staying further away, avoiding going onto certain beaches, reducing the speed of your vessel, or simply being still and quiet.

Heather Davison-Smith, development officer for the YMNP, said: “Operation Seabird action days are a great opportunity to highlight how important our marine wildlife is, but also how sensitive it can be.

“Through this initiative, and the Partnership’s work around protected areas like Flamborough and Filey, we’re really encouraging everyone to be mindful of their actions. The simple message is: Enjoy spending time in nature this summer, but leave space for wildlife. This applies whether you’re at sea, walking your dog on the beach, or enjoying the cliff-top footpaths.”

PC Rich Fussey, wildlife and heritage crime officer with Humberside Police, added: “The Yorkshire coastline is a fantastic landscape and an important feeding and breeding ground for a variety of seabirds and marine mammals.

“Unfortunately, we have a number of reports each year of members of the public approaching too closely to the wildlife that live in the area.

“The key focus of Operation Seabird is to ensure that members of the public enjoy the Yorkshire coast in a responsible way. We want to ensure they keep their distance from the wildlife to prevent disturbance and to safeguard this stretch of coastline, allowing future generations to enjoy the spectacle we see today.”

Go to tinyurl.com/3y4expeb to find out more about Operation Seabird.